The estate of the Leonrod family achieves excellent results.
During the run-up to the auction, the sale of the large estate belonging to the significant von Leonrod family had attracted a great deal of interest, even in international circles; nonetheless, the final hammer prices surpassed even the highest expectations by far.
Inextricably bound up with the history of Bavaria, countless members of the von Leonrod dynasty also helped shape the fortunes of the federal state. A great many eminently honorable careers in the military, the civil service and the clergy can be traced down through the generations of this family. Prominent representatives include Sybilla Freifrau von Leonrod (1814−1881), the governess of King Ludwig II, Franz Leopold Freiherr von Leonrod (1827 – 1905), who was the Bishop of Eichstätt from 1867 to 1905, Munich's Leonrodplatz was named after the Bavarian Minister of Justice of many years' standing, Leopold Freiherr von Leonrod (1829 – 1905), who introduced the German Civil Code and the land registry system, including the establishment of land registry offices throughout Bavaria, and Ludwig Freiherr von Leonrod (1906 – 1944), who fought in the resistance against Hitler.
The importance, dedication and accomplishments of the noble von Leonrod line in matters of state and society make for fascinating reading in this unrivaled collection of documents, decorations and orders, as well as personal photographs, uniforms and helmets from the family archive. Among the 180 lots in total in the special catalogue that have just changed hands, around 100 objects were the personal possessions of the Lord Chamberlain to the last Bavarian King, Wilhelm Freiherr von Leonrod (1865 – 1943).
Magnificent orders and decorations were awarded by regents and commanders throughout Europe to express their profound appreciation of services rendered. The distinctions awarded to Wilhelm Freiherr von Leonrod over the course of his long career included some 15 Grand Crosses alone, all of which now unleashed spirited bidding wars. Among their number was an exceptionally rare decoration that would assuredly grace any museum collection: a Grand Cross set with Diamonds and Swords on Ring in gold of the Bulgarian Order of St. Alexander from the reign of Tsar Ferdinand I (1861 – 1948). To date, no comparable group of orders was known to exist in terms of its unique, exquisite workmanship and content. This fact, coupled with the enormous historical significance of both the bestower and the bearer, claimed appropriate tribute from interested parties. The subsequent avalanches of bids soon consigned the reserve of 10,000 euros to history, with the hammer only falling at an impressive 34,000 euros.
Wrought in outstanding jeweler's quality, the Grand Cross set of the Order of the Württemberg Crown and the Grand Cross set of the Bavarian Merit Order of St. Michael in its presentation case also received their share of attention. Listed at 8,500 euros apiece, the decorations certainly met with the approval of the specialist buyers, changing hands for 15,500 euros and 10,000 euros respectively. In immaculate condition, the Grand Cross set of the Hessian Order of Philip, which was presented to Wilhelm Freiherr von Leonrod in 1914, ultimately tripled its asking price of 4,000 euros and now graces a new collection for 12,000 euros.
Hermann Historica is now striking out in a new direction with its online auctions, which will be held in addition to the established format of live auctions. For the first time, from April 8-10, almost 1,500 lots with objects from the fields of "Five centuries of antique and modern firearms", "Orders, military antiques & contemporary history" and the special Winterhilfswerk catalogue will be sold exclusively on the internet. The specifically developed bid management software worked perfectly in its trial run in the 78th Auction in March and will therefore also assume the role of the auctioneer in the automated overall execution of the online auction. Bids may only be placed on the internet during the actual auction; however, they may also be submitted beforehand via the online catalogues or in writing, as in previous sales. All objects will continue to be available for viewing, on April 4, 5 and 8 for the upcoming auction.
The next live auction, encompassing all the traditional specialist areas covered by Hermann Historica, will be the large Spring Auction from May 20 - 24, followed by another online auction in early June.
Please note: all prices quoted are net prices and do not include the 25% premium.
In 2019, Hermann Historica will hold live auctions in the months of March, May, October and December, as well as at least three online auctions.
About Hermann Historica
Hermann Historica GmbH, Munich, is one of the world's leading auction houses in the special areas: antique arms and armours, hunting collectibles, antiquities, orders as well as objects from history and military history. Founded as early as almost 50 years ago by Count Erich Klenau von Klenova, Baron von Janowitz in Nuremberg as an auction house for coins, from the very beginning also orders and decorations as well as objects of military history were put up to auction. In the early seventies the range of the auctions was broadened by the category of “antique arms and armour”. The wide range was soon accepted by international collectors and museums. In 1982 the present owners renamed the auction house Hermann Historica GmbH, and at least two auctions are conducted annually which address more than 40,000 clients worldwide. Particularly sensational are the numerous objects from the possessions of noble houses, notably those of the German and Austrian imperial family, which continue to attract international attention, the auctions dispersing complete collections such as the sale of the hunting treasures of Castle Fuschl in Salzburg, as well as the much-noticed sale of the unique collection Karsten Klingbeil of ”Arms and Armour” and the “Collection of Antique Greek and Roman Arms” of Axel Guttmann, the liquidation of the Nümbrecht Museum of Historical Technology, the worldwide biggest auctions of "Children’s Dreams on Wheels", the pedal cars of the Centre of Extraordinary Museums in Munich. www.hermann-historica.com.